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An Interactive, Web-based High Performance Modeling Environment for Computational Epidemiology.

Abstract

We present an integrated interactive modeling environment to support public health epidemiology. The environment combines a high resolution individual-based model with a user-friendly web-based interface that allows analysts to access the models and the analytics back-end remotely from a desktop or a mobile device. The environment is based on a loosely-coupled service-oriented-architecture that allows analysts to explore various counter factual scenarios. As the modeling tools for public health epidemiology are getting more sophisticated, it is becoming increasingly hard for non-computational scientists to effectively use the systems that incorporate such models. Thus an important design consideration for an integrated modeling environment is to improve ease of use such that experimental simulations can be driven by the users. This is achieved by designing intuitive and user-friendly interfaces that allow users to design and analyze a computational experiment and steer the experiment based on the state of the system. A key feature of a system that supports this design goal is the ability to start, stop, pause and roll-back the disease propagation and intervention application process interactively. An analyst can access the state of the system at any point in time and formulate dynamic interventions based on additional information obtained through state assessment. In addition, the environment provides automated services for experiment set-up and management, thus reducing the overall time for conducting end-to-end experimental studies. We illustrate the applicability of the system by describing computational experiments based on realistic pandemic planning scenarios. The experiments are designed to demonstrate the system's capability and enhanced user productivity.

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